How do you prepare yourself for writing? Do you have something that needs to happen before setting forth on your writing path for the day? If I’m lucky, I get to whisper under breath – though I love my family dearly- “Don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out”. I wait for silence. Click it shut, then turn the key.
Are you one to procaffenate before picking up your pen or getting onto your keyboard?
Caffeine shots (preferably in an IV drip- my friend’s dream request), are a must for many writers who need their regular doses of caffeine before anything can be started. Including during the time when things have started and after that time, once everything is done. Have I covered everything, my caffeine friends?
Not being one for hot drinks generally, I find my Chocolatunity Opportunity at any given. But I’ll give you the respectable commencement time of around 11am. It may involve a liquid form but mostly my close encounters are of the solid kind.
Planic on the keyboard?
Do you suffer from writer’s block till the very last minute and then planic? Yep, those tired, old familiar pair of slippers called planic. Don’t you just hate the smuglys when they say, “Fail to plan? Plan to fail”? Ugh! When you’ve been trying so hard with a bloody plot and structure in place, however, creative juices are just not flowing and then you panic, forcing yourself to put something down?
I remember this feeling during the process of writing the first draft. I was so fearful of moving away and going off topic, as moving away from chapter 10 to try to refreshingly start chapter 20 always meant there was a chance that I would meander on route, as the brain is not so focused when embarking on change. So I tried to stay ‘on track’. More frighteningly, chances were that I would be sucked into a domestic vacuum- emptying the washing machine; yep, right down into the bowels of housework, sucked in, never to be seen again, for hours. Mwahahahaha!
Or on the contrary, do you find yourself chatting breeze?
Engaging in a stream of consciousness before eventually finding some worthy content materialising? Maybe in your planic, something beautiful is born?
Perhaps you have multiple neargasms that take you to the brink of great writing?
Only to find you are so exhausted with the climb, you have to have a rest before embarking further?
Sometimes, you get to a moment in your work that just sums up why the hell you took up the crazy, stupid idea of writing a novel. But you get in such a tizzy state and then…and then you… step away???
I fell into this when I embarked on writing my novel. It’s a bizarre act and probably reflected my own fears – questions of “Could I really pull this off?”, exposing my own lack of confidence in believing that I’m a writer. I now work through.
Do you set yourself a word count and stick to it? What happens if you don’t stick to it? Are you hard on yourself with a set target?
I found that I would write until I felt that, that piece was ‘done’. Not by any means perfect, but, the best I could do at the time. Word count was irrelevant. Whether I got to the point and said what needed to be said (objectives), was more important for me.
Do you listen to music while you write or do you have to have absolute silence?
I love the idea of listening to music as I write, but in reality, I would be scatting away (Jazz), or focusing on the sublime nuances of a particular instrument- each, one at a time, or I would be off, drifting into another dimension. In the novel I’m editing I had two soundtracks I continually listened to, to put me in the world of a character and a scene, but once the scenes were finished, the music went off. Classical is a great option. It massages and soothes. There are some classical pieces, though, that will take me away from the writing so music is strictly on prescription.
Perhaps you engage in another particular activity pre, during and post (a reward?), writing that compliments your creative output?
I may reward myself several times over – and then some – throughout my writing session by chocolaxing. Relaxing and chocolate make a fine couple. Not a distraction at all.
Would love to know what you get up to when writing.